We plucked another play out of the hat to celebrate Y&H plays, and drew The Many Faces of Kelly J Ioko by Stephen Bain. Directed by Paul McLaughlin, the play premiered at our 2005 festival at Bats theatre. The Wellingtonista wrote at the time that the play caught the eye, seeming to ‘strike a chord, deep down somewhere, for some reason’ (NoizyBoy, 2005). Themes about the virtual realm vs the physical and a search for genuine connections become increasingly relevant to us all in the digital age.
Kelly J Loko expects more of life than what she is currently lumped with. She invents three chat room personalities who dare to do what she as a plain 14-year-old cannot. However, it is when she tries to turn her virtual world into reality that the trouble really begins. People are not always what they seem to be, and those closest to her turn out to be the biggest challenge to this realisation. Eventually, it is in the most unlikely places that Kelly J Loko learns what it is to trust someone and how to embody the person she really is inside. Everybody can claim to own a little bit of Kelly J Loko.
About the Playwright:
Stephen is a Toi Whakaari graduate who also studied in France and was an artist in residence twice at Massey University. In 2014 he completed a sponsored Artist residency at Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan.
He acts extensively for theatre and television and has written and directed many shows for both the Wellington and world stage. He is co-founder of Under Lili’s Balcony Theatre Company who created choreographic theatre pieces from 1996 to 2002, gaining a reputation for innovation and visually adventurous theatre.
Stephen has worked in video, creating performance pieces under the guise of Digital Cabaret. He has also produced a music videos, a dance-theatre video, and a multimedia piece for the City Gallery Wellington Cinema (2004, Turbulent Flux). As a musician, he has written and recorded music for many theatrical productions.
Recent installation work includes This Means You (Taipei Artists Village 2014), and They come from far away ( Finland and Te Uru, Auckland 2016). See more of his extensive, innovative work at stephenbain.co.nz.
Feeling inspired to create your own work? Check out our devising theatre workshop on this weekend here.